Attending at least one of the Winter Guard International World Championships since 2011, Aimachi is a name around the marching community that is synonymous with excellence, perfection, and legendary performances.
Hailing from Nagoya, Japan, the 2016 Aimachi Winds group became the only group from outside the United States to win a WGI division at World Championships since its founding.
As one of the pioneers of the winds activity, the Aimachi Band had humble beginnings in 1964 with only four members. Fast forward three decades to 1998, and the group had earned its first national title in the All-Japan Marching and Baton Twirling Championships.
Since the turn of the century, Aimachi has attended WGI World Championships in the Independent World Percussion division and the Independent World Guard division, setting itself apart with performances that are not only wildly unique but also technically excellent.
The Aimachi Winds were no different in 2016.
Aimachi's performance of "Ascension" at the 2016 WGI Winds World Championship finals fulfilled all expectations for the group following its exhibition performance in 2014. The group even showed dramatic improvement in its visual technique and playing abilities since its previous to Dayton, Ohio.
What separates Aimachi from the other groups is its ability to be two steps ahead of the activity while also relying heavily upon the marching arts' best attributes spread across the entire year of competitive seasons.
With the help of many of the United States' best designers and instructors, Aimachi is able to personify some of the best parts of a drum and bugle corps' kit. The group can go from flashy high volume power chords to fleeting 16th note passages reminiscent only of Drum Corps International's best. The group's drill is also extremely demanding: "Ascension" certainly shows off the skills of the marching members' ability to handle high velocity motion.
Being a pioneer for the indoor winds activity, Aimachi also brings in its experience from the other two WGI divisions: guard and percussion.
The Aimachi Winds were the ultimate culmination of bringing in the high-impact, short but often, effect moments from percussion and the artistry and finesse from the guard world.
Although we won't see Aimachi competing in any of WGI's divisions in Dayton in 2018, the group is bound to make an appearance sooner or later — and you can expect the same high level of performance from some of Japan's best.